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News » Eagles have run into some great backs in past playoffs

Eagles have run into some great backs in past playoffs

Eagles have run into some great backs in past playoffs
THE Eagles never had to face Jim Brown in the playoffs, but they have lined up against a number of the other great backs in NFL history.

It was the Birds' inability to stop the run that led to their undoing in the 1947 NFL Championship. Charley Trippi opened the scoring with a 44-yard touchdown run and teammate Elmer Angsman added a pair of 70-yard scampers as the Cardinals won, 28-21.

Chicago rang up 282 yards against the Eagles 4-4-3 defensive alignment. Trippi, a Hall of Famer, also scored on a 75-yard punt return.

The Eagles avenged the loss the following season with a little help from Mother Nature.

A snowstorm blanketed Shibe Park helping hold Angsman and Trippi to a combined 59 yards as the Eagles won, 7-0, behind Steve Van Buren's fourth-quarter touchdown.

While the Packers were able to run the ball in the 1960 title game, the result was sealed when Eagles linebacker Chuck Bednarik stopped star running back Jim Taylor as time ran out.

Taylor gained 105 of Green Bay's 223 rushing yards, but was tackled at the 10-yard line after catching a dump pass with the Eagles ahead, 17-13.

The Birds next playoff victory wouldn't come for another 19 years when they beat Walter Payton and the Bears, 27-17, in a wild-card game at Veterans Stadium on Dec. 23, 1979. Payton, who retired after the 1987 season as the NFL's all-time leading rusher, scored Chicago's touchdowns, but gained just 67 yards on 16 carries. (The Eagles run defense would not be quite as stout the following week when Tampa Bay's Ricky Bell rolled for 142 yards and a pair of scores.)

In the frigid NFC Championship Game after the 1980 season, the Birds stuffed Tony Dorsett for 41 yards on 13 carries. The Eagles faced Emmitt Smith, another Cowboys legend, twice in the postseason with much different results.

Smith, currently the NFL's all-time leading rusher, had 114 yards in a playoff game after the 1992 season and 99 yards in a second-round game on Jan. 7, 1996. Each time, Dallas went on to win the Super Bowl.

Andy Reid's defense had no answers for Marshall Faulk and the Rams in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 27, 2002. Faulk ran for 159 yards and a pair of scores as the Rams made it to their second Supe in 3 years.

Their inability to stop the run - along with some questionable playcalling/clock management - contributed to the Eagles losing their most recent playoff game.

Deuce McAllister ran for 143 yards and a touchdown and Reggie Bush added 52 yards and a score as the Saints wore down the Eagles in the NFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 13, 2007.

Of course, the simplest way to hold down an opposing running back is to get a big lead and keep him planted on the sidelines.

That was the recipe the Eagles used when they held Detroit's Barry Sanders to 40 yards on 10 carries in a 1995 wild-card game. The Birds stormed out to a 51-7 lead that basically rendered Sanders obsolete and won, 58-37.

When they take the field Sunday against the Vikings, they will look to stop Adrian Peterson, the second-year stud who is arguably the game's next great back. The Eagles should try to get a lead, hold the ball and make the Vikings pass. They can't count on a blizzard like the one they got 60 years ago. *

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 2, 2009

Trent Cole Name: Trent Cole
Position: DE
Age: 25
Experience: 4 years
College: Cincinnati
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